"Environmental richness" is also called biodiversity, or biological diversity. Environmental richness is used to describe the variety and interconnectedness of life on Earth. It includes genetic diversity, species diversity, and ecosystem diversity around the world. Preserving environmental richness is important as human populations and activities increase. Threats to biodiversity include habitat loss and destruction, alterations in ecosystem composition, the introduction of non-native species, over-exploitation, pollution, and global climate change. Humans depend on biodiversity for our cultural, economic, and environmental well-being. For example, healthy, biodiverse ecosystems can prevent flooding, erosion, and other natural disasters. These ecosystems also affect our climate, including air and water quality.

  • The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was created by the White House and Congress in July 1970 to repair environmental damage and establish new criteria to reduce future environmental problems.
  • The United Nations declared 2010 to be the International Year of Biodiversity.
  • National Geographic supports The Green Wave, a global campaign that promotes the importance of biodiversity around the world and focuses on the crucial role that biodiversity plays in our lives and our futures.
Noun

all the different kinds of living organisms within a given area.

ecosystem diversity
Noun

number of ecosystems present in a specific area.

genetic diversity
Noun

difference or variety of units of inheritance (genes) in a species.

species diversity
Noun

formula that calculates the total number of specific species in an area compared with the number of all species.